Animal Farm, Soulpepper

Existence is hard on the farm and there’s not much of a future unless immediate action is taken. Soulpepper’s superb staging of Animal Farm shows the grass is never greener on the other side of the fence no matter what we’re told to believe.


Anyway you size it up; Anthony MacMahon’s adaptation of the Animal Farm is the closest thing ecstasy that any theatre company can achieve. It’s just that beastly good!

This is in part to director Ravi Jain’s smart decision to go with voice modulation to heighten the cartoonish feature of the offering.

But never before in memory has a 10 minute introduction had such an impact before the show even gets started. And when it does, this committed cast goes hog wild over the material which underscores the consequences of biting the hand that feeds.

Many would have first been introduced to George Orwell’s timeless allegory of the futility and self-serving hypocrisy of government (just reflect on the 1917 Russia) and you’re already there) back in high school when the importance of the ideological text was never explained that well at a Secondary school level. Is revolution the answer to all our problems? Pffft…no, just a continuance.

In this Manor Farm, farmer Jones is chased off the land by his four legged friends who deep down inside are miserable and restless over the status quo.

In due time, the complaining starts, food shortages loom and questions begin to be asked about fairness and equality which was the driving force of autonomy where ‘all animals’ would be equal. This, of course works better in theory than it does in practise.

The Soulpepper Theatre Company staging is far more amusing and illuminous than the young adult interpretation could have ever suggested.

Best farm ever? You betcha!


ANIMAL FARM by George Orwell, adapted by Anthony MacMahon March 9 – April 17, 2018 YOUNG CENTRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 50 Tank House Lane, Toronto TICKETS $35.00 –$95.00 416-866-8666  CAST Leah Cherniak, Oliver Dennis, Raquel Duffy, Miriam Fernande, Rick Roberts, Paolo Santalucia, Sugith Varughese, Guillermo Verdecchia, Jennifer Villaverde, Mihcaela Washburn and Sarah Wilson DIRECTOR Ravi Jain ASSISTANT DIRECTOR Darwin SET & COSTUMES Ken MacKenzie LIGHTING Andre du Toir SOUND DESIGN Richard Feren CHOREOGRAPHER Shannon Litzenberger STAGE MANAGER Neha Ross

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